Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Adjutant General speaks to Oregon Senate Interim Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness

131120-Z-OT568-026 by oregonmildep
131120-Z-OT568-026, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
Maj. Gen. Dan Hokanson (right), Adjutant General, Oregon, speaks to members of the Senate Interim Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness during a hearing at the State Capitol in Salem, Ore., Nov. 20. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oregon National Guard participates in Veterans Day events throughout the state

131111-F-TK422-777-rev by oregonmildep
131111-F-TK422-777-rev, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
Col. William J. Edwards, commander of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, salutes Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon, as guidon bearers of the various units in the Oregon National Guard pass the reviewing stand during the Veterans Day Parade in Albany, Ore., Nov. 11. The event, Hokanson’s first as Oregon’s new adjutant general, is touted as the largest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi. Hokanson was joined in the reviewing stand by Brig. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard; Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Lake, State Command Sergeant Major; Chief Master Sgt. Patrick A. Gauntz, State Command Chief Master Sergeant; and several other military dignitaries. Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Memorial park dedicated in Keizer for Army Pfc. Ryan J. Hill

131108-Z-MZ730-002 by oregonmildep
131108-Z-MZ730-002, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
A dedication ceremony was held at Keizer Station in Keizer, Ore., Nov. 8, to name a park in honor of Army Pfc. Ryan J. Hill who was killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq in 2007.

In attendance at the ceremony was Pfc. Hill’s mother, Shawna Fenison, as well as Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.); Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher; Department of Veterans Affairs representative, Mike Allegre; and Maj. Gen. Dan Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon.

Via Flickr:
Shawna Fenison, mother of Army Pfc. Ryan J. Hill, speaks to a crowd during the memorial park dedication ceremony in honor of her son at Keizer Station in Keizer, Ore., Nov. 8. (Photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Camp Withycombe hosts Veteran's Day Open House

131107-Z-OT568-063 by oregonmildep
131107-Z-OT568-063, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Spc. Rachael Washburn, with the 1186th Military Police Company, Oregon Army National Guard, explains how a .50 caliber machine gun works to children visiting the Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore., during the Veteran’s Day Open House, Nov. 7. The event featured Oregon’s military history from the Civil War to present with displays and actors from the Oregon Military Museum as well as equipment displays from the Oregon National Guard. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oregon's Adjutant General awards Bronze Star Medals to two 142nd Fighter Wing Airmen



Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon, awards the Bronze Star Medal to Senior Master Sgt. Brian Wade, of the 142nd Fighter Wing Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit, during a ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 3. Wade and Maj. Casey Dierickx, 142nd Fighter Wing executive officer, were awarded the Bronze Star as part of their service during Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How the government shutdown affects the Oregon Military Department

The Oregon Military Department is comprised of approximately 9,000 Citizen-Soldiers, Airmen and civilians, of which nearly 2,000 are full-time employees.

Approximately 1,000 federally-funded employees, including 790 federal technicians and 220 federally-reimbursed state employees, are scheduled to be furloughed beginning Oct. 1 until funding is approved by Congress. Furloughed employees may be eligible for unemployment compensation.

Operations and activities which are essential to the security, safety and protection of human life and property are exempted from furlough, to include emergency management and national security missions. State Active Duty is still authorized in the event of a domestic emergency.

“Public safety and security, as well as the security of military installations are the Oregon National Guard’s priority and plans are in place to ensure these priorities are met,” said Capt. Stephen Bomar, director of public affairs, Oregon Military Department.

According to the Department of Defense, furlough decisions are dictated solely by the law and are in no way a reflection of the importance of the work of any employee or department within the agency. Supervisors will be the immediate source of information for their employees.

Drill-weekend training scheduled for the month of October for all part-time Soldiers and Airmen will be rescheduled for a later date. The chain of command will communicate with Soldiers and Airmen to adjust drill training dates as necessary.

Approximately 965 Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) military personnel will continue to serve in a normal duty status.

In addition, another 250 Army and Air Guard military federal technicians, and 100 federally-funded state employees have been requested as exempt from furlough for fire, security, and emergency management operations.

The Oregon National Guard will continue to support the governor and State of Oregon with the Civil Support Team (CST) and a 24/7 Joint Operations Center – the conduit to emergency management, and all armories will remain open.

The Oregon Air National Guard will continue to support the Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) mission with the 142nd Fighter Wing and the 173rd Fighter Wing will continue to support the Air Force’s only F15 Fighter pilot training school.

The Military Funeral Honors program, Sexual Harassment/Assault programs, and Recruiting and Retention force will remain functional and the Oregon Military Department will continue the responsible close-out of 2013 fiscal responsibilities.

“Half of our full-time force is affected,” said Bomar. “The longer the shutdown, the more likely there will be serious long-term effects. However, we will do everything we can to assist employees who find themselves in serious financial trouble due to furlough.”

Information and resources for furloughed employees is available at the Oregon Military Department website: http://www.oregon.gov/omd/Pages/index.aspx

Federal Tuition Assistance is temporarily suspended, however service members are scheduled to continue receiving GI Bill education benefits. Veterans Affairs medical facilities will also remain open. For more information visit the VA website at http://www.va.gov/opa/appropriations_lapse_plan.asp

Monday, September 16, 2013




The New Patriot Magazine needs your help!  The publication is looking for stories on exceptional National Guard members throughout the country.

The New Patriot is the professional magazine for the enlisted force within the National Guard, which currently works directly with National Guard Bureau Public Affairs to help provide content and direction for many of the articles.

For the upcoming winter edition, The New Patriot would like to feature five members of the National Guard who are considered "Pros" in their respective field.  There are quite a few National Guard members mentioned in local and regional news articles who have earned professional singing contracts, are fighting professionally in the UFC, and even recently winning beauty pageants.

The publication would like to showcase current members of the National Guard, and those thinking about joining the National Guard, that members don't have to give up their dreams and passions just because they put on a uniform and serve their country when called upon.  The focus of the articles will be on those individuals playing sports and engaging in other activities outside of their normal military "job".

The National Guard Bureau has been assisting The New Patriot in finding members of the National Guard who fit into this category, however they need your help.  After all, you know your fellow Guardsmen better than anyone else!

If you, or someone you know, are interested in being highlighted in an upcoming issue of The New Patriot please contact Steve Fink, Director of Business Development for the Enlisted Association of the National Guard, before October 30.  His contact information has been provided below.

The New Patriot staff will select the top candidates for the article and a staff writer will contact that person directly to get the details for the article. 

The New Patriot is looking forward to hearing all of the amazing stories of the men and women of our National Guard!

Steve Fink
703-519-3846, ext. 27, or via cell: 541-403-1126.  Email: steve@eangus.org.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oregon Army National Guard responds to wildfire near The Dalles

130821-Z-B7541-374 by oregonmildep
130821-Z-B7541-374, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. Mike Buchan, of Salem, Ore., a crew chief with Charlie Co., 7-158 Aviation, looks for spot fires around the larger Government Flats Complex fire (seen in the background) from an Oregon Army National Guard HH-60M Blackhawk helicopter, near The Dalles, Ore., Aug. 21. The Oregon National Guard supports local authorities and first-responders fighting wild land fires throughout the state as needed. (Photo by Spc. Matthew Burnett, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Monday, August 5, 2013

1-186th Infantry Battalion assists law enforcement during wildfire response

Staff. Sgt. Steven Luthi and Staff. Sgt. Keith Dillard, with A Company, 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment, based out of Medford, Ore., speak with a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy in Grant Pass, Ore., Aug. 1. Members of the 1-186th Infantry Battalion are assisted Douglas and Josephine County law enforcement agencies with road blocks and traffic control in evacuated areas near the Douglas Complex fires. (Photo by Sgt. Amy Elker, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Oregon Governor swears in new adjutant general


130801-Z-OT568-028 by oregonmildep
 130801-Z-OT568-028, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (left) administers the oath of office to Oregon’s new adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson (right), as Kelly (center), the general’s wife, looks on during the investiture ceremony at the state capitol, in Salem, Ore., Aug. 1. Hokanson will direct, manage, and supervise the Oregon Military Department, to include the administration, discipline, organization, training and mobilization of the Oregon National Guard, the Oregon State Defense Force, and the Office of Emergency Management. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oregon commemorates 60th Anniversary of Korean War Armistice

130727-Z-4037F-687 by oregonmildep
130727-Z-4037F-687, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Oregon National Guard Maj. Gen. David B. Enyeart, Chief of Staff, J-3, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea, speaks to an audience of Korean War Veterans during the commemoration ceremony for the 60th Anniversary of the Armistice Agreement of 1953 at the Oregon Korean War Memorial in Wilsonville, Ore., Sat., July 27. (Photo by Kay Fristad, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1-82 Cavalry Squadron takes training to a new level

130616-A-AB123-189 by oregonmildep
130616-A-AB123-189, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Charlie Troop, 1-82 Cavalry Squadron, practices a low-profile beach landing via marine assault craft on the banks of the Owyhee Reservoir as part of an insertion and extraction training mission at the Orchard Combat Training Center near Boise, Idaho, June 16. The unit is executing missions as part of the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s annual training in preparation for a possible deployment to Afghanistan in mid-2014. The 1-82 Cavalry is headquartered in Bend, Ore., and has subordinate units in Lebanon, Redmond, Klamath Falls, and Burns, Ore. (Photo by Sgt. Armondo Borboa, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

Friday, June 14, 2013

DeLaurentiis joins Oregon Guard for Governor's Executive Brief

130614-FS713-201 by oregonmildep
130614-FS713-201, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Hollywood Producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis (center) and Kelly Clement (far right) pause for a photo with the 125 Special Tactics Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard during the Governor Executive Briefing June 14, at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore. The event, held in conjunction with Flag Day, and the U.S. Army’s birthday, is meant to inform attendees about the mission and vision of the Oregon National Guard, and to recognize several organizations and employers for their support of Oregon’s military members and their families. DeLaurentiis has hired Oregon National Guard veterans to work on film sets as part of a program she started called Operation Hollywood. DeLaurentiis hopes to start a production company in Portland that will hire veterans. Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan.

Adjutant General visits troops in the field

20130612-A-0876B-042 by oregonmildep
20130612-A-0876B-042, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, speaks with Soldiers of 41 Special Troops Battalion, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, at the Orchard Combat Training Center, near Boise, Idaho, July 12. Rees made a final field visit to the 41 IBCT during their annual training prior to his scheduled retirement in July 2013. (Photo by Sgt. Armondo Borboa, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

Friday, June 7, 2013

First female promoted to major general in Oregon National Guard

Maj. Gen. Julie A. Bentz is pinned by her husband, Dr. Brendan Plapp, during her promotion ceremony at Heritage Park at the Oregon Military Department in Salem, Ore., June 7. Bentz is the first female in the Oregon National Guard to be promoted to the rank of major general. (Photo by Spc. Matthew Burnett, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Brig. Gen. Julie A. Bentz was promoted today to the rank of major general at Heritage Park at the Oregon Military Department in Salem, Ore. Bentz is the first female in the Oregon National Guard to be promoted to the rank of major general.

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, presided over the ceremony, attended by many members of the Bentz family, to include Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario, District 60).

“You have had a fantastic career, you have earned this promotion and we are delighted to share this moment with you,” Rees said to Bentz during the ceremony. “This is history we’ve made here today.”

As the former Director of the Strategic Capabilities Policy with the National Security Council in Washington, D.C., Bentz has been responsible for writing presidential policy, coordinating interagency dialogue, informing presidential budgetary decisions and building consensus on interagency initiatives in programs that develop United States Strategic capabilities to meet 21st century requirements.

Her new rank was pinned on by her husband, Dr. Brendan Plapp, and her uncle, Ken Bentz. The promotion came on the 27th anniversary of when Bentz first became a commissioned officer through the Oregon State University ROTC program.

Upon being promoted, Maj. Gen. Bentz will begin her new assignment as the Director of Nuclear Defense policy for the National Security Council in Washington, D.C.

“Thank you for this honor,” Bentz said. “Major General Rees, you have always been my mentor, you’ve always had a love and a responsibility towards all of your Oregon Guardsmen.”

“The National Guard is a place where you have family, it is a close-knit organization,” Bentz continued. “Since I joined the National Guard 14 years ago, I always knew you had my back and were looking out for me.”

Bentz has served more than 27 years in variety of active, reserve, and National Guard assignments involving nuclear defense, homeland security, health physics, environmental sciences and traditional nuclear, biological and chemical officer assignments. She has a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Radiological Health, as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Bentz is also a graduate of the National War College with a masters in national security strategy.

According to the National Guard Bureau, there are currently 27 female general officers in the National Guard nationwide; 18 are from the Army National Guard and nine are from the Air National Guard. Of those 27 female general officers in the National Guard, five are the rank of major general.

For the general’s official biography, please visit this link: http://www.nationalguard.mil/ngbgomo/bio/bio-show.aspx?id=2397&name=Julie%20A.%20Bentz%20

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Airmen compete in marksmanship competition

130602-Z-AH721-076 by oregonmildep
130602-Z-AH721-076, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Spc. Douglas Seablom, Pfc. Matthew Allen, Spc. George Wierichs and Spc. Brandon Donovan from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, compete in The Adjutant General marksmanship competition at Camp Rilea June 2, in Warrenton, Ore. The four Soldiers made up the overall winning team out of 19 teams that participated in the event. (Photo by Spc. Erin J. Quirke, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Airmen gathered at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Ore., for The Adjutant General marksmanship competition, known as “TAG Match”, June 1-2.

The annual competition consisted of 19 teams, four service members per team, for a total of 76 competitors.

Sergeant 1st Class Marcus L. Merrick, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1249 Engineer Battalion, has been the Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the TAG Match for the past two years after competing in the competition himself since 1998.

“It’s a great opportunity to shoot shoulder to shoulder with some of the best shooters in the state,” said Merrick. “They are very dedicated to what they do and this competition gives them the opportunity to come out here and have some fun.”

This year’s winning team was from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, based in Springfield, Ore. The team members included Pfc. Matthew Allen, Spc. Douglas Seablom, Spc. Brandon Donovan and Spc. George Wierichs.

Staff Sergeant Barry Prescott with Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, based in Gresham, Ore., was the overall individual winner of the competition and walked away with three different achievement plaques.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Emergency response exercise held at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas

130522-Z-OT568-127 by oregonmildep
130522-Z-OT568-127, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Capt. Daniel Fay (center) and Maj. Patrick Birbeck (right), both with the Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team, evaluate first responders reacting to a simulated bioterrorism attack at the Armed Forces Reserve Center during the Portland Area Capabilities Exercise (PACE) Setter at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore., May 22. (Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

A number of regional agencies participated in a simulated bioterrorism attack exercise to evaluate interagency and regional response at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore., May 22.

The Portland Area Capabilities Exercise (PACE) involved agencies from Clackamas, Clark, Washington, Multnomah and Columbia Counties. The purpose of the PACE Setter exercise is to test regional and interagency response to public health incidents affecting multiple agencies.

The exercise brought together several agencies, including Clackamas Fire District #1, the fire departments of Canby, Gladstone and Boring, American Medical Response, Metro West Ambulance, Lifeflight, Clackamas County Medical Examiner, The American Red Cross, Clackamas County's Office of Emergency Management, and Department of Communications.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oregon Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen of the CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) complete a "footprint" of tents consisting of a decontamination line and medical response area during a collective exercise at the Portland Fire & Rescue Training Site in Portland, Ore., May 20.  The exercise, which runs May 20-24, is meant to test the unit's ability to assist local and regional first-responders following man-made or natural incidents. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oregon Guardsmen win Region VI Best Warrior Competition


Spc. Benjamin S. Herrmann, with the Oregon Army National Guard’s 3670th Maintenance Company, emerges from the water after high-crawling approximately 20-yards through the surf while competing in the Region VI Best Warrior Competition, at Camp Rilea, in Warrenton Ore., May 16. Hermann and won the title of Region VI Soldier of the Year, earning the opportunity to compete in the national Best Warrior competition. (Photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce, Oregon Army National Guard)

SALEM, Ore. - The winners of the Region VI Best Warrior Competition were announced at a ceremony, May 16, at Camp Rilea, in Warrenton, Ore. Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Carver, with the Oregon Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion, won Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and Spc. Benjamin Herrman, with the Oregon Army National Guard’s 3670th Maintenance Company, won Soldier of the Year.

Thirteen Citizen-Soldiers from eight states participated in the regional competition. Competition events included, but were not limited to; rappelling, rifle marksmanship, physical fitness testing, obstacle course, and Soldier knowledge evaluation boards.

The Region VI Best Warrior Challenge pit Army National Guard Soldiers from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and Oregon against each other during a grueling four-day event.

Winners of this competition advance to a national competition later this year.

"It's a great day to be in the Oregon National Guard," said Oregon’s State Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Lake. "Every competitor proved their grit during this competition. They truly embody the spirit of the Citizen-Soldier."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oregon's 2-162 Infantry Battalion Soldiers train at Biak

130517-A-0876B-003 by oregonmildep
130517-A-0876B-003, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Scott Young talks with Capt. Jeffery Flores, commander of Bravo Company, 2-162 Infantry Battalion at Corvallis Municipal Airport, Corvallis, Ore., May 17.

Young briefed the Soldiers before they boarded a CH-47 Chinook which airlifted them to Biak Training Center in Bend, Ore., where they conducted battle drills as part of their weekend training.

Photo by Sgt. Armondo Borboa, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Oregon National Guard celebrates Armed Forces Day at Capitol

130516-Z-OT568-116 by oregonmildep
130516-Z-OT568-116, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber recognizes Oregon National Guard Airmen and Soldiers who recently returned from overseas deployments during the Armed Forces Day celebration, May 16, at the Capitol Mall, in Salem, Ore. From left: Tech. Sgt. Alan Baker, Senior Master Sgt. Cody Pemberton, Capt. Scot Berg, and Staff Sgt. Sarah Summers. (Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon National Guard celebrated Armed Forces Day to honor all military members in a ceremony at the State Capitol Mall in Salem, Ore., May 16.

The event featured military equipment displays from various units throughout the Oregon National Guard and a Howitzer salute by the Oregon Army National Guard’s 2-218 Field Artillery Battalion. The Oregon Army National Guard’s 234th Army Band and high school Junior ROTC teams from local communities were also featured.

In addition to honoring all military members, the event will also honor Korean War veterans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement.

Armed Forces Day was originally created in 1949 to honor Americans serving in all of the branches of the military, and was designated as an official holiday in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oregon Air National Guard's Mobile Emergency Operations Center deployed to Prineville first responder exercise

130515-TK422-2372 by oregonmildep
130515-TK422-2372, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Oregon Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. John McIlvain, (left), Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC) Chief, speaks to Oregon National Guard 102 Civil Support Team (CST) Executive Officer, Maj. Richard Paetz, via video teleconference, during an inter-agency training exercise in Prineville, Ore., May 15.

The event is part of the United States Army North (USARNORTH) evaluation for the Oregon National Guard's 102 Civil Support Team (CST), who are supporting local first responders.

Other agencies who took part in the exercise were Crook County Fire & Rescue, Salem Fire Department’s HAZMAT 13, Prineville Police Department, Crook County Public Works, Crook County Sheriff, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Prineville Community Development.

In addition to evaluating the 102 CST's manning, equipment, training and competency, the event also tested first responders' ability to react to a local civil emergency.

Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

102 Civil Support Team assists Dalai Lama visit to Oregon

130510-Z-OT568-305 by oregonmildep
130510-Z-OT568-305, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, poses for a photo with members of the Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team at the University of Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena, in Eugene, Ore., May 10. (Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

The U.S. Department of State requested the Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team to assist law enforcement with events in Portland and Eugene featuring the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, this week. The 102 CST provided chemical, biological, radiological, and other hazardous material detection capabilities, as well as rapid-response decontamination capabilities to help secure the events and ensure public safety.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Oregon's Adjutant General recognized with Distinguished Citizen Award by Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America


Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, (left), Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon, with the Distinguished Citizen Award on behalf of the Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America, during the 2013 Eagle Scout Celebration at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore., May 9.

Kulongoski, a Life Scout and past Meritorious Leadership Award recipient, said the values of the Boy Scouts reflect those of the National Guard, and America.

Rees, a Star Scout, who was the keynote speaker at the event, said the Boy Scouts prepare members to be leaders, mentors and role models.

About 100 Scouts and their family members took part in the event, which also included 10 Scouts who each received a $1,000 scholarship.

Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rescued hiker thanks Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers for saving her life

130509-Z-OT568-038 by oregonmildep
130509-Z-OT568-038, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Mary Owen (center), 23 of Newberg, Ore., poses for a photo with her rescuers, Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers with Charlie Company, 7-158 Aviation, at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem, Ore., May 9, in front of the Blackhawk helicopter that hoisted her off of Mount Hood.

Owen was injured and stranded for six days after suffering an injury while hiking near Mount Hood.  The Oregon Army National Guard helicopter crew located and rescued her on March 30.

Owen and her family visited the flight facility to thank the Soldiers for finding her, and ultimately saving her life.

From left: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Devin Wickenhagen, Capt. Nathan Edgecomb, Mary Owen, Sgt. Michael Buchan, and Sgt. Daniel Cleveland.

Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Posted on May 9, 2013.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Oregonians welcome home Oregon Soldiers from the 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

130505-Z-XB575-085 by oregonmildep
130505-Z-XB575-085, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Soldiers of the Oregon Army National Guard's 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment salute during the playing of the National Anthem at their demobilization ceremony at West Salem High School, in Salem, Ore., May 5.

The unit recently returned to Oregon following a deployment in Afghanistan.

Photo by Spc. Marilyn Lowry, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home sweet home

130423-Z-OT568-053 by oregonmildep
130423-Z-OT568-053, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Hartman, of the 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, embraces his wife, Andrea, as their daughter, June, looks on at the Portland International Airport, following the unit’s return to Oregon, April 23.

The 115 MPAD completed a deployment to Afghanistan, where they produced more than 700 broadcast products, 75 print stories and more than 600 photos that were downloaded more than 2,500 times and used by news media agencies around the world.

They also embedded more than 80 journalists from various news agencies throughout the world to tell the story of what was happening in Regional Command East, and provided training to the 201st Corps and 203rd Corps Afghan National Army on public affairs operations.

A demobilization ceremony for the unit is scheduled on May 5 in Salem, Ore.

Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

--Posted by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Capital Campaign for new Oregon Military Museum continues with gala fundraiser event at Governor Hotel

130420-A-FS713-232 by oregonmildep
130420-A-FS713-232, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Ninety-one year old WWII veteran, Brig. Gen. (Oregon State Defense Force) James B. Thayer, received a standing ovation at the 2013 All-Star Salute to the Oregon Military, held at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Ore., April 20.

The event is part of a two-year, $6.5 million capital campaign fundraiser for the Oregon Military Museum at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore.

Tommy Thayer, lead guitarist for the rock band KISS, along with local celebrities Patrick Lamb, Linda Hornbuckle, KGW news anchor Brenda Braxton, and former Portland Trailblazer Jerome Kersey, attended the sold-out event to raise funds for the Brig. Gen. (Oregon State Defense Force) James B. Thayer, Oregon Military Museum.

“I’m honored to be a part of this outstanding event to recognize not only my father but all veterans who have sacrificed for our country,” said Tommy Thayer in an interview prior to the event. “The Oregon Military Museum will ensure the legacy of the men and women who have served will not be forgotten.”

The museum will be named in honor of James Thayer, a World War II veteran who helped liberate a concentration camp in the waning days of WWII.

A two-year capital campaign to renovate the Oregon Military Museum at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas is currently underway. Of the $6.5 million goal, $2.5 million has secured thus far. The museum will commemorate the military service and sacrifice of all Oregonians who have served in the nation's armed forces.


Photo by Sgt. Cory Grogan, Oregon National Guard 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Posted by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager

Friday, April 19, 2013

Former Vietnam War adversaries build bridges of friendship through State Partnership Program

IMG_3285 by oregonmildep
IMG_3285, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees (right), Adjutant General, Oregon, and Lt. Gen. Tran Quang Khue (second from right), Deputy Chief of General Staff for the Vietnam People's Army, discuss a map of Vietnam, during the State Partnership Program Workshop, in Portland, Ore., April 19.

Dr. D. Blair Craig (far left), Program Manager for Joint Directorate of Military Support, presented the map to Khue and Rees, while Senior Captain Mai Tat Thang, American Desk Officer, Vietnam People's Army helped translate.

The map represents the region in Vietnam where both Khue and Rees fought on opposite sides of the Vietnam War in 1969.

The State Partnership Program workshop, held April 17-19 included regional, national, and international experts in several fields including academics, economics, port and maritime security, humanitarian aid, search and rescue, and renewable energy.

--> “There are three of us here who in 1969 were on opposite sides of very serious circumstances,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, at the workshop, referring to himself, Dr. Blair Craig, Program Manager for Joint Directorate of Military Support, and Lt. Gen. Khue.

Earlier in the day, Craig showed Rees and Khue a map of the region in Vietnam where the two generals had been on opposing sides during the Vietnam War in 1969 — Rees as a 24-year old troop commander, and Khue also as a young combat engineer. They both recalled battles in the same areas on the map.

“We see a better way ahead, where people can share understanding and common goals in a peaceful and cooperative way, and perhaps all the sacrifice will have been for good in the long term for both countries,” said Rees, “We have come a long way in 44 years.” 


The partnership between the Oregon National Guard and Vietnam was made official in November 2012 as part of the State Partnership Program, which pairs emerging democracies with National Guard states.  Oregon currently has both Vietnam and Bangladesh as its state partners.

--> The State Partnership program complements broader U.S. engagement with Vietnam in pursuit of shared priorities such as disaster relief, education, health, trade and the environment. The program directly supports the broad national interests and security cooperation goals of the United States by engaging partner nations via military, socio-political, and economic conduits at the local, state, and national levels. 

Posted by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.  Photo by Spc. Matthew Burnett, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vietnam, Oregon Generals visit Vietnam War Memorial in Portland

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130417-Z-TK422-1452, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

A delegation from Vietnam joins Oregon National Guard leadership for a visit to the Vietnam War Memorial at Washington Park in Portland, Ore., April 17.

From left to right: Senior Captain Mai Tat Thang, American Desk Officer, Vietnam People's Army; Oregon Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael Stencel, Assistant Adjutant General (Air); Lt. Gen. Tran Quang Khue, Deputy Chief of General Staff for the Vietnam People's Army; and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon.

The visit includes a week-long visit to Oregon as part of the State Partnership Program and a workshop April 17-19, which includes experts in several fields including academics, economics, port and maritime security, search and rescue, and humanitarian aid.

Both Khue and Rees are veterans of the Vietnam War.

Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vietnam delegation meets with Oregon governor as part of Oregon National Guard's State Partnership Program initiative

130415-Z-TK422-1396 by oregonmildep
130415-Z-TK422-1396, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Lt. Gen. Tran Quang Khue (left head of table), Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army, and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees (right head of table), Adjutant General, Oregon, meet with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (center) at the State Capitol in Salem, Ore., April 15.

Khue is leading a delegation which is scheduled to visit several Oregon National Guard facilities before concluding the week with a State Partnership Program workshop in Portland, Ore., April 17-19.

The partnership between the Oregon National Guard and Vietnam was made official in November 2012 as part of the National Guard Bureau-sanctioned program, which pairs emerging democracies with National Guard states.

Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thayer family tours construction site of new Oregon Military Museum named in honor of Brig. Gen. James B. Thayer

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130411-Z-TK422-1155, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

John, Jim and Mike Thayer join their father, Oregon State Defense Force Brig. Gen. James B. Thayer (second from right), at the construction site of the new Oregon Military Museum.

The new facility, named in honor of Brig. Gen. Thayer, is being funded by a two-year capital campaign.

A sold-out gala fundraising event is scheduled for April 20.

The Thayers were joined by Miss Oregon Nichole Meade, former Oregon Governors Ted Kulongoski and Vic Atiyeh, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs Director Cameron Smith, and President of Emmert International Terry Emmert.

The group was able to also watch the removal of the old Camp Withycombe guard shack from the premises.

Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Oregon Army National Guard commemorates ANZAC Day at Camp Withycombe

20130407-Z-PL993-015 by oregonmildep
20130407-Z-PL993-015, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
The 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon Army National Guard, Color Guard posts the national colors of the United States of America, Australia and New Zealand during the ANZAC Day ceremony held at Camp Withycombe, Clackamas, Ore. April 7.

Traditionally held at dawn, this ceremony marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I and commemorates the battle-forged friendships formed when the 41 Division fought alongside the Australian and New Zealand armed forces in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines in World War II.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason van Mourik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Intel Corporation, ESGR, formalize support of military employees

20130403-Z-XB575-046 by oregonmildep
20130403-Z-XB575-046, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Intel Corporation CEO, Paul S. Otellini, speaks to a gathering at a Employer Support of the Guard Statement of Support event at the company's Hillsboro campus, April 3.

The agreement publicly states Intel Corporation's support and appreciation for its employees who are members of the uniformed services.

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, the Adjutant General, Oregon, also spoke at the event.

The company employs about 1,200 veterans and military members throughout its worldwide operations.

Photo by Spc. Marilyn Lowry, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Deputy Pacific Command greets Soldiers at Exercise Shanti Prayas

PANCHKHAL, Nepal (March 26, 2013) -- Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Command shakes hands with a Nepalese Soldier during a visit to Shanti Prayas-2 at Birendra Peace Operations Center yesterday.

The multinational partnership exercise is designed to increase the number of capable military troops and formed police units available for United Nations deployments.

The two-week training exercise led by the Nepalese Army is organized by the United Nations, U.S. State Department and the Global Peace Operations Initiative.

Countries with platoons represented in the FTX are: Nepal (2 platoons), Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia, Jordan (with Kazak squad embedded), Mongolia, Philippines, Rwanda and Paraguay.

A contingent of Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers has joined other military photographers to cover the event.

U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Cory Grogan, Oregon National Guard 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Oregon Soldiers compete in this year's Best Warrior Competition

20130322-AH721-Z-088 by oregonmildep
20130322-AH721-Z-088, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Soldiers from various units across the Oregon Army National Guard race through obstacles during the 2013 Best Warrior Competition, an annual physical and mental two-day challenge, held at Camp Rilea, in Warrenton, Ore., March 22.

Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. First Class Jeremy Carver, of Recruiting & Retention Battalion, won the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year category, and Spc. Benjamin Hermann, of 3670 Maint Company, 821 Troop Command Battalion, 82 Troop Command Brigade, won the Soldier of the Year category this past weekend.

Photo by Spc. Erin J. Quirke, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oregon Guard's 102 CST joins in multi-agency exercise in Vancouver, Wash.

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130320-Z-TK422-753, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

A group gathers around Clackamas County Sheriff Curt Kessler (seated), as he negotiates a small, portable robot through an adjacent building, which was used as a mock bomb-making laboratory, during a joint-agency exercise held at Camp Bonneville in Vancouver, Wash., March 20.

Robots carrying cameras with live video feed and other sensors are used for reconnaissance in locations deemed too hazardous for humans.

Kessler and his fellow officers were joined by the Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team, Portland Police Bureau’s Explosive Disposal Unit, Oregon State Police Explosives Unit, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the FBI.

Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Oregon National Guard infantry unit ‘trains like they fight’ one weekend a month

130309-A-UK848-024 by oregonmildep

130309-A-UK848-024, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr. An Oregon Army National Guard Soldier, with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment, runs to a firing position, March 9, at Fairview Training Center in Salem, Ore. Infantry units based out of Coos Bay and St. Helens, Ore., met in Salem to conduct a full-scale training exercise simulating battlefield scenarios. (Photo by Spc. James Dilger, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Story by Spc. Erin J. Quirke, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

SALEM, Ore. – Nearby trees sway frantically as clouds of red smoke sweep across the empty meadow. The rotors of the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter blur into nebulous dark streaks against the clear, blue sky as it hovers just inches over the rippling grass. Soldiers, nestled into firing positions in the surrounding bushes, brace themselves against the turbulent wind, watching as their buddies move swiftly towards the helicopter to load the wounded for safe transport out of hostile territory.

This is how Soldiers with the Oregon Army National Guard’s Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, spend their drill-weekend. The infantry company conducted a large-scale training exercise simulating battlefield scenarios, March 9-10, at the Fairview Training Center in Salem, Ore.

Bravo Company’s headquarters is based in Coos Bay, Ore., and the unit’s Detachment 1, is located in St. Helens, Ore. The Fairview Training Center provided a central location where the two units could meet and train together.

“We mesh incredibly well considering we are stationed in two different places,” said Sgt. Justin Gray, with Bravo Company headquarters in Coos Bay, Ore. “Today was all about being able to adapt, overcome and succeed in what we do together, and we did just that.”

The goal of the exercise was to provide realistic training for any given situation. Noise simulators provided grenade explosions. Blank ammunition simulated an attack from the opposing force and triggered a fire-fight. Canisters of thick, red smoke billowed out a smoke-screen to reduce visibility.

“This is the best training we’ve had so far,” said Spc. William Ashley, based in Coos Bay, Ore. “It’s beneficial for us to be able to practice our situational awareness of any obstacles we may encounter in order to prepare us for the real thing.”

The training exercise hit on key infantry skills, such as moving tactically in rough terrain, communications, obstacles, treating and evacuating the wounded, and being able to resolve any unexpected problems along the way.

“This training was great,” said Cpl. Andrew J. Miller, also based out of Coos Bay, Ore. “Our commanding officer is working hard to make sure we have effective and useful training at all times.”

Capt. Mark Timmons, commander of Bravo Company, said his desire is to create challenging training to produce well-trained and motivated Soldiers for the state and nation.

“Seeking out new training areas improves the esprit de corps of the unit and challenges Soldiers with new situations and circumstances,” he said.

Bravo Company took advantage of every minute during their drill-weekend to ‘train like they fight’ by combining urban operations training with medical evacuation training using aviation assets from the Oregon National Guard’s Charlie Company, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment. They also incorporated casualty role-players who wore medical simulators which bled like real wounds until medics applied the bandages and tourniquets properly.

“The best thing about the drill this weekend with my Bravo Company was the all-out Oregon Guard effort to make it happen,” said Timmons. “There were 80 Soldiers who got more out of that weekend then they have seen in a long time.”

“(The combined efforts) brought a comprehensive combat view and feel to our operations that motivated my Soldiers all day and into the night,” he added.

With the motivation of the Soldiers and dedication of their commander to provide new training opportunities, the unit is poised to rise-up to any challenge, emanating the ‘Always Ready, Always There’ motto of the Oregon National Guard.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oregon National Guard’s first female general honored by Oregon House of Representatives



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Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario, District 60) reads House Concurrent Resolution 11, honoring Brig. Gen. Julie A. Bentz (right) for being the first female brigadier general in the Oregon Army National Guard, to the 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly at the State Capitol, March 6. (Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
Brigadier General Julie A. Bentz was honored by the 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly at the State Capitol, March 6, with the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution 11. The House measure recognized her for being the first female brigadier general in the Oregon Army National Guard.

Her promotion to brigadier general in 2011 came with her assignment as the Director of Strategic Capabilities Policy on the National Security Staff in the Executive Office of the President. She is responsible for writing presidential policy, coordinating interagency dialogue, informing presidential budgetary decisions and building consensus on interagency initiatives in programs that develop United States strategic capabilities to meet 21st century requirements.

Bentz has served in a variety of active, reserve and National Guard assignments revolving around nuclear defense, homeland security, health physics, environmental sciences and traditional nuclear, biological and chemical officer assignments.

In the Oregon Army National Guard, Brig. Gen. Bentz assisted with the initial stand-up of the 102 Civil Support Team in 1999 and served as the executive officer of the unit in 2003. She also served as the operations officer for 82 Troop Command Brigade from 2003-2004.

She then went on to serve in various positions in the Pentagon, developing a national nuclear response framework and shaping the Department of Defense’s leading role in this effort. She served on the Homeland Security Council from 2004-2006 and the National Security Staff from 2009-2011, advising senior-level decision makers on nuclear defense policy.

Measure HCR 11 was carried by Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario, District 60), Brig. Gen. Bentz’s cousin. Representative Bentz read a list of her accomplishments to the assembly, including the Legion of Merit award, Oregon Stater Award and induction into the Oregon State University Academy of Distinguished Engineers.

For the general’s official biography, visit this link: http://www.ng.mil/ngbGomo/library/bio/2/2397.htm

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Citizen-Airmen promoted to brigadier general in the Oregon Air National Guard

20130208-Z-PL993-033 by oregonmildep
20130208-Z-PL993-033, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Nicole and Nathan Stencel pin their newly promoted father during a ceremony at the Anderson Readiness Center in Salem, Ore. Col. Michael Stencel received his promotion to brigadier general and moved into his new position as the Assistant Adjutant General (Air) for the Oregon National Guard. Prior to this position he was the commander of the 142nd Fighter Wing, based in Portland, Ore. Stencel has been with the Oregon Air National Guard since his enlistment in 1984 and has served in various strategic positions throughout his career. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason van Mourik, Oregon Military Department Public Afffairs)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Herschel Walker visits Camp Withycombe

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130206-Z-OT568-036, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr. (Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
Herschel Walker, Heisman trophy winner and former National Football League player, signs an autograph for Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Terrence Hoover at the 41 Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore., Feb. 6.
Walker spoke to service members, veterans, and their families about his personal experiences with mental illness and the importance of seeking treatment.

Walker is known for his talent on the football field. He was also an Olympian and recently won two professional mixed martial arts matches with technical knockouts. He now visits military installations throughout the nation to share his personal experiences with mental illness.

The event at Camp Withycombe was sponsored by the Patriot Support Program to reduce stigma among service members for seeking help with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AFSOC commander makes special trip to honor Oregon Airmen

130123-Z-CH590-036 by oregonmildep
130123-Z-CH590-036, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Members of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 125th Special Tactics Squadron salute the honor guard during the posting of colors at a ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore., Jan. 23.

The ceremony was to honor the group with five Bronze Star Medals and one Purple Heart medal. The Airmen earned the medals during recent deployments to the Middle East.

From left to right are; Staff Sgt. David A. Albright, Senior Airman Chadwick J. Boles, Master Sgt. Scott A. Geisser, Tech. Sgt. Jeffery A. Dolezal, Staff Sgt. Jacob M. Guffy and Tech. Sgt. Douglas J. Matthews.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric E. Feil, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, flew in from his headquarters at Hulburt Field, Fla., for the ceremony.

(Oregon Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Governor Kitzhaber announces Brig. Gen. Daniel Hokanson to lead the Oregon National Guard


Col. Dan Hokanson, now brigadier general and director of strategic plans and policy for the National Guard Bureau, pauses for a photo at Camp Adder in Iraq where he was commander of the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon National Guard, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2010. Hokanson led more than 3,000 Soldiers, and the brigade received a Meritorious Unit Citation for their performance during the deployment. Hokanson will succeed Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees as the Adjutant General, Oregon, in the summer of 2013.

Governor Kitzhaber announces Brig. Gen. Daniel Hokanson to lead the Oregon National Guard

Governor Kitzhaber today announced the appointment of Brigadier General Daniel R. Hokanson, former Keizer, Ore. resident, to succeed Major General Raymond F. Rees as the Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard. He will transition to the position in the summer of 2013.
General Hokanson graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1986 and served on active duty in Air Cavalry, Attack Helicopter and Aircraft Test organizations prior to joining the Oregon National Guard. He has commanded at company, battalion and brigade combat team levels, as well as an Army Aviation Support Facility. General Hokanson commanded the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and served as Chief of Staff for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix in Afghanistan.

Hokanson founded the National Guard's first Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic and the Military Air Rescue Team program where he commanded approximately 100 air rescue and fire-fighting missions throughout the Pacific Northwest.

"I'm pleased that General Hokanson has agreed to lead the Oregon National Guard," said Governor Kitzhaber. "He brings a keen understanding of the Guard's dual mission to respond to emergencies here at home and serve the nation when called to active duty. I thank General Rees for his longstanding leadership of the Oregon National Guard and know that General Hokanson will continue to be a strong advocate for our Guardsmen and their families."

Currently, General Hokanson serves as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. He holds graduate degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and the United States Naval War College, and is a graduate of fellowship programs at Harvard University and National Defense University.

Official Biography: http://www.ng.mil/ngbGomo/library/bio/2295.htm

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oregon Air National Guard, Port of Portland holds event to commemorate 50-year lease agreement for Portland Air Guard Base

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130116-Z-CH590-080, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, presents Kathleen Ferguson, U.S. Air Force Deputy Assistant, Secretary of the Air Force, Installations, who attended the ceremony via video conference, with a plaque marking the ceremonial signing of the 50-year lease agreement between the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing and the Port of Portland, at the Portland Air Base in Portland, Ore., Jan. 16, as the Port of Portland's Mr. Bill Wyatt, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, and Oregon Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg look on.

The agreement allows the 142nd Fighter Wing to move forward with capital improvements which will enhance mission objectives.

Wyden called the agreement an "historic and monumental achievement."

Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

173rd Fighter Wing changes command

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130113-Z-NJ935-116, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Colonel Jeremy Baenen (center) accepts the wing flag from Brigadier General Steven Gregg (left), commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, symbolizing his acceptance of command of the 173rd Fighter Wing during an official ceremony, January 13, 2013, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore.  Colonel Jeffrey Silver (right) steps down as Baenen accepts command of the Wing.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson)

Baenen takes command of 173rd Fighter Wing

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -  A change of command took place Sunday, January 13, 2013, at Kingsley Field.  Colonel Jeremy "Weed" Baenen, who has more than 20 years of military experience, took command of the 173rd Fighter Wing.

Baenen's military experience includes 10 years with the active duty component before joining the Oregon Air National Guard in 2002.  He most recently commanded the 173rd Operations Group after holding numerous positions at the 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland Air National Guard Base.  These assignments provide a strong skill base necessary for this key command position.

The official ceremony included the passing of the Wing guideon, a flag that represents the command, from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander.  According to Air Force protocol, the ceremony is rooted in military history, dating back to the 18th Century.  During this time, organizational flags were developed representing the individual units.  When a change of command took place, the outgoing commander would pass the flag to the invidual assuming command.  This took place in front of the entire unit so that all could witness the new commander assuming his position.

Additionally, Baenen's name was revealed on the Wing flagship F-15 Eagle as the commander of the 173rd Fighter Wing.  Flowers were presented to the wives of both of the outgoing and incoming commander from the members of the 173rd Fighter Wing.

Baenen replaced Colonel Jeffrey "Hi-Ho" Silver, who commanded the 173rd Fighter Wing since September 11, 2011.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oregon Air National Guard continues mission at PDX with 50-year lease signing



The Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing based out of Portland International Airport will continue its 70-year mission of protecting the Pacific Northwestern skies, following today’s approval of a 50-year lease by the Port of Portland Commission.

The Portland Air National Guard Base at PDX is home of the 142nd Fighter Wing, which safeguards  the  airspace and coastal waters from northern California to the Canadian border with F-15 Eagles on a 24-hour alert. In addition to the aerospace control alert at PDX, operational and training missions take 142nd Fighter Wing units around the globe in support of Air Expeditionary Force missions and contingency operations including drug interdiction.

At home, the Governor can activate the Oregon ANG to provide protection of life and property, and preserve peace, order and public safety. State missions include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, floods and forest fires; search and rescue, protection of vital public services, and support to civil defense.

The Portland Air National Guard Base supports the region’s economy by paying more than $44 million in annual salaries to Guard members who live in Oregon and Washington, and providing approximately 1,500 jobs.

“For more than 60 years, Portland’s Air National Guard facility has provided protection in the skies from California to the Canadian border and been an economic driver in this area,” Sen. Ron Wyden said. “This deal will not only preserve the 1,500 jobs in Oregon right now, it will set the stage for further investment in the base that could result in even more economic development in the future.”

Sen. Wyden and other partners plan to attend a lease signing celebration at noon Jan. 16 at the Portland Air National Guard Base.

“The leadership of the Port of Portland, the ORANG and Sen. Wyden have made this happen,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon. “This lease is absolutely vital to the future of the 142nd Fighter Wing and the ORANG. The citizens of Oregon and the entire Northwest are now assured that this premier air defense unit will continue to protect their skies.”

“We’re pleased to continue helping meet the security and civil defense needs of our nation, state and community, and commend Sen. Wyden for his efforts on the agreement,” said Bill Wyatt, Port executive director. “Oregon Air National Guard has proven a great airport partner, and this new agreement allows them to continue their vital mission at PDX, while at the same time allowing us to expand the airport if needed in the future to accommodate the air travel and cargo needs of our community.”

Under the primary terms of the agreement, the existing Oregon ANG lease of 240 acres will reduce to 195 acres over the next 20 years to allow use of some facilities for commercial aviation activities, such as aircraft parking. In the event that planning for a third parallel runway becomes necessary, the leasehold will reduce to 128 acres, but will not occur for at least 30 years.

Under a joint use agreement, the military will pay $368,000 annually for use of taxiways and runways. Under other agreements, the military will pay $60,000 annually toward the operation and maintenance of the PDX deicing stormwater runoff collection system. The military will also fund its proportionate share of capital improvements that benefit and support their operations at PDX.

Oregon ANG’s original lease at PDX dates back to 1949; was amended in 1981, and was set to expire in 2029. The recently adopted PDX Master Plan, which developed with extensive community involvement, indicated that the leasehold is an appropriate location for military use.